Apply for Comic Relief’s Children Survive and Thrive: Rise and Shine

Deadline: 22 March 2019

Comic Relief is currently inviting eligible organizations for a program entitled “Children Survive and Thrive: Rise and Shine” which is focused on community action for early childhood development – to help make sure that all children have the best possible start, and become happy, healthy and confident individuals.

The aim of this programme is to support child-centred approaches, and to make progress in addressing the comprehensive development needs of children during their early years, up to and including their transition to primary school.  These child-centred approaches should be based on recognised good practice.

Funding Criteria

  • Comic Relief will make investments in organisations that directly support families with young children.
  • Organisations with demonstrable experience in one or more of the key areas – for instance in health, or in education – may be able to extend this and integrate multiple elements of early childhood development.
  • However, Comic Relief does not expect organisations to be able to achieve all this on their own.
    • To meet the holistic needs of children it may be important to create strong linkages from communities to different services, and ensure integrated follow-up with families after they return home
    • Some organisations might also consider a specific approach, such as implementing a missing key activity in local communities, e.g. community-based and pre-school activities that address gaps in young children’s holistic needs
    • Comic Relief also welcomes applications from organisations working in partnership
  • Alongside direct delivery, application could also include complementary activities. For example:
    • Building capacity to improve the delivery of early childhood development
    • Developing or influencing guidelines, procedures, policies and implementation plans
    • Acting on opportunities for making progress for children in collaboration with other key stakeholders
    • Strengthening organisations driving these changes, to ensure the work has long term benefit
  • In developing their application, applicants should be able to:
    • Demonstrate their understanding of the context of the location(s) where the work will take place. Data is more readily available for some aspects of early childhood development and less so for others, depending on the local context.  However, their proposal should clearly identify relevant needs of young children and their families, priority issues and gaps for early childhood development, availability of services and other support, and relevant government policy and programmes
    • Propose a feasible set of actions that directly reach children and their families, using a comprehensive approach to early childhood development that will address a clear set of identified obstacles

What they will Fund

  • Funding is available for 3 to 5 years.
  • In the UK, Comic Relief will make investments of £150K and below, and in Kenya and Malawi they will make investments of £300K and below.
  • In some cases, Comic Relief may approve investments at a higher level – up to £300K in the UK, and up to £750K in Kenya and Malawi – for organisations that will both deliver strong community-level efforts and also contribute to strategic changes. For example, this could be through a combination of supporting families directly, and influencing stakeholders, policy or guidelines at local or national level. Please note, however, that Comic Relief do not expect to fund many grants at the higher level.
  • The investment can be used to cover specific activities, or a combination of activities and the organisation’s core costs or overheads. If an organisation’s main purpose is to advance early childhood development, and it can demonstrate its impact, Comic Relief may consider funding core costs only.

Organisation’s Annual Income, and the Maximum Annual Funding

  • As of 7 January, Comic Relief changed these funding criteria, so please read the following carefully.
  • The applicant organisation must have a minimum annual income of £250,000 a year in the UK, or £75,000 in Kenya or Malawi. The applicant must also not have an annual income of more than £10 million. This needs to be shown in their most recent annual accounts submitted to the relevant authority.
  • All organisations must apply within the funding limits for the Rise and Shine programme as outlined above.
  • In addition, Comic Relief aims to fund no more the 40% of an organisation’s future annual income. This limit applies to the overall funding amount for their organisation and includes any funding distributed to partners.
  • The 40% limit will apply to the percentage of the organisation’s total funding per year, after Comic Relief’s investment is added to other income organisation already receives. The simplest way of calculating the maximum annual funding request to Comic Relief is to multiply last year’s income by two-thirds. This amount will represent 40% of the forecast annual income if their proposal is successful.
  • For example, an organisation in Kenya or Malawi with income of £75,000 as shown in its latest annual accounts can apply for average yearly funding of up to £50,000. Its forecast income will be £125,000 a year on average. (£50,000 is 40% of £125,000.) In this case, if the proposal is for three years of funding, the total request can be 3 x £50,000 or a maximum request of £150,000.
  • This will apply to the average annual funding – so Comic Relief will consider budgets that have higher amounts in some years, as long as the average annual funding is within the new 40% limit.


  • Proposals can be made by single applicants, or by partnerships of two or three organisations that will receive funding (but only one organisation can act as grant holder).
  • Comic Relief predominantly funds charities. They will always prioritise applications from organisations that are registered in the country where the work will take place.  Applicants are welcome to include partners not registered in the country, but must be able to clearly demonstrate the added value of all partners included in the proposal.
  • In addition, applicants are welcome to include collaboration with government organisations, but Comic Relief will not fund government organisations.
  • To give as many organisations as fair a chance as possible, organisations can only submit one proposal (though they can be named as partners on any number of applications). Please be aware Comic Relief will never read more than one proposal per organisation.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply online via given website.

Eligible Countries: Kenya, Malawi and the United Kingdom

For more information, please visit

  • Avatar Ocittiugi Godfrey says:

    My Name is Godfrey Ocittiugi from Uganda. Are we also eligible to apply for this grant opportunity. Thank you

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